For those who are finding a place in the world,
Be strong. Be bold. Be kind.
Starting Point. A Prologue.
I don't know why I should be surprised to see the first few pages already being scribbled with horrible sketches of bespectacled pigs—or maybe it's a bear? An extremely ugly one that wear glasses?—and an arrow pointed to its nose with words like THIS IS NOZOMI TAKAMIYA. I've told my friends to not touch or even go near this book, and they must've done the opposite and did this while I was not looking. Sometimes I don't even know why I try. Luckily, the book is still new and there isn't anything in it yet as I've only gotten the assignment.
Truth be told, I don't know how I should do this? Is this the correct way? Eri, my kid sister, once had a journal too and she always started her stuff with Dear Diary and proceeded quickly to write about how mean I was to her that day, which I wasn't, mind you, because I'm an excellent big brother, but I don't have an older brother to write mean stuff about so maybe I should write about how completely dumb my friends are. Not that they will know that I'm writing about them as this book will definitely bound to be private and confidential.
Private and confidential, Noma Chuichirou who couldn't draw to save his moustache. Private and confidential, Ohkusu Yuji WHO SPELLED TAKAMIYA'S NAME WRONGLY. Private and confidential, Nozomi Takamiya you big pig. And, of course, private and confidential Sakuragi Hanamichi, you red headed monster monk. Stay out of my stuff. But then again, I doubted any of you could even stand to look at this for more than five seconds as I am, surprisingly, writing in English.
I haven't actually told my friend this yet, though I have no doubt they'll find out sooner or later, that I've been taking some English classes lately. I mean, it's no big deal. It's just some classes. And it isn't for grades or anything—lord knows how we all have given up on that—I've actually enjoyed taking them? When my mom was smaller, I guess she was a pretty sick girl because she got into the hospital a lot and would stay there for a couple of months at time. And it just so happen that one time while she's there, she's been put next to an English woman named Marie and they've grown really attached since then.
When she had me, she'd tried having me stick by calling some of our relatives with "Aunties" and "Uncles" though that didn't work really well. Dad has a strong Japanese root, but mom didn't mind. When I was eleven, we had a great English teacher and during one of the exams, I've actually managed to pull off a decent essay. The teacher praised me so very highly, and I've felt very encouraged since then.
Anyway, yes. I've been going to English classes lately, and it's—I don't know—it's nice? The English teacher, a pretty lady by the way, is really surprised when she read over some of what I've managed to write during class.
"Do you read often, Mito-kun?" She'd ask. She's easily affectionate like that. I like her a lot.
"No," I've told her, in Japanese of course, "Not really." I read our English textbooks, whenever it's interesting. It's not a hobby or anything. My hobby is fighting, maybe. But no. Probably not. Fighting hurts. I mean, it's fun, sometimes. But it hurts. I like to watch people. I mean, my friends tend to do stupid things. They're very hilarious to watch. I don't tell the pretty teacher this, of course.
"Oh!" She says, eyes wide. "So good! So good!"
I have to admit I felt kind of proud. In all honesty though, I was just writing about a table.
So she's assigned us to keep a journal of our own, and write whatever we want to in it. We're supposed to write it twice a week. To be honest with you, I live a relatively normal live, so I don't have any particularly interesting materials to start from. Well, I've got my mom and my dad, and my younger sister, who's now thirteen years old. She's smarter than me though, in a lot of ways, and she's already so popular at her age. It's very surprising, considering how much of a social outcast she used to be when she's much smaller since she cried every five seconds for our mom, that cry baby.
Remind me to erase that later. My sister, unlike my ape group of a friend, can read in English.
Maybe I can write about my friends. There's one in particular that I think I'd be interested to write. He's kind of the reason why I started taking those English classes. But my hand's very tired now, and plus thinking of English words can tire you out so quickly, you know? Well, mom's calling me to eat. Gotta go now, journal/book/diary!
It's the weekend again, so it means I'm visiting Hanamichi at rehabilitation.
I decided to go early because I didn't have anything else to do anyway and I really like the looks of the beach in the morning. (The rehab's near the seaside. It's very nice.) As usual, Hanamichi's wide awake and ready to conquer the world when I arrive, challenging the doctors and pushing past his limits. He immediately yells when he sees me, barking out his excitement at my face. It's amazing how much progress he's made in such a short amount of time, though it's not really surprising.
Perhaps Takamiya was right. Sakuragi was immortal.
Anyway, Hanamichi is the one friend I wanted to talk about you, Book. (Is it okay if I call you Book? I don't have any other good names to give you? Maybe Sakura? I've always liked that name.) He got injured in a basketball game earlier this summer, and he's been spending time to heal his spine for the past three months. The doctors have suspected that he might take more than six months. Eight, maybe. A year, at most. Perhaps more. There were a lot of numbers.
But Hanamichi, Book… He's something else, you know?
In less than three months, he can nearly run for hours without complaint about the pain returning. Sometimes, that'll go for days. Usually it's just the stitches from the surgery that has opened, which was why he'd say it's hurting again. But mostly… Mostly, he's doing what he's told. He takes his medications. He did the necessary exercises. He met with psychiatrists and switch physiotherapists when it's necessary. And he does this so obediently, it's actually puzzling to think that that's the same person I've met when I was eight.
He's grown, you know? In more ways than all of us have expected him to.
He's the reason I've decided to finally take those English classes, Book. It starts when Hanamichi begins playing basketball eight months ago. Watching him learning and maturing (is that the word, Pretty Teacher? I think so, right?) kinda makes me wanna do something with my life too, you know? I've tried playing basketball too, but Hanamichi seems far better at it. So, I'll write instead. I'll write about Hanamichi. How he's surprised people. How he'll continue to surprise people, I'm sure. Maybe.
It seems interesting, right?
Who knows, maybe I can sell this book one day. (No, offence, Sakura/Book.) When Hanamichi truly becomes a star, and I truly think he can, maybe these silly writings would actually worth something. (MONEY PERHAPS? HEHEHE)
The nurse is calling me now. Hanamichi needs an assistant for his afternoon walk and, as per usual, he's fighting the male nurses who's volunteering to have the walk with him. All and all, I suppose it's a good day. Bye, Book/Sakura/how about Kiku?
By the way, Book/Sakura/Kiku, I'm sorry about the torn at the page before this one. Hanamichi saw you and tried to rip you away from me. You were also thrown into the ocean. I hate that guy.
(YOU ARE VERY EXPENSIVE FOR A NOTEBOOK OKAY BOOK/SAKURA/KIKU)
It's not a good day, Book. Hanamichi has locked himself in the bathroom again when we all came over and no matter what we tried, he won't open the door. The first time he did this, he nearly killed himself because he'd swallow so many pills in an attempt to heal himself faster. It was just two weeks after the surgery and Hanamichi was frustrated with the little progress he made. And hearing the doctors telling him he won't be able to stand, let alone play, for a whole year kinda makes him lost his mind, you know?
He didn't kill himself, fortunately, when one of the scariest nurse managed to kick the door down. That's when they start assigning Hanamichi a therapist, so he could talk about his feelings or whatever that goes through that funky head of his. I guess it's necessary. It was scary when it happened once. I mean, even Gori and Megane-kun came down to check on him. He's better since. He hasn't tried to kill himself, so that's always good. But he'd lock himself in the bathroom for hours and hours. I don't know what he does in there.
Maybe he just sits down and thinks.
Anyway, he must've lost another argument to go back to school this fall with his doctor and the tension was just heavier today than some. I don't know. But his therapist's racing down to the rehab centre now. Maybe I should try talking to him again. See if he'll listen this time, that stubborn red headed devil.
Here's to luck.